Hein (fub) wrote,
Hein
fub

  • Mood:

Hardware considerations

I run my desktop pretty much 24/7 -- it acts as the printer server, it holds the Anime/CD index, and it acts as a BitTorrent client for the industrial amounts of anime we download. Oh, and in between all that, it also acts as my desktop.

It's a pretty noisy machine, though. Sure, the silver WaveMaster case is slick, but it has only 80mm fans, so lots of rotations which means lots of noise. A constant background hum, which is a bit irritating. And it's horribly overpowered for the things it is doing 90% of the time: just torrenting some files doesn't need a 3GHz P4.
So I was thinking... The EEEPC is pretty quiet, because it has only a SSD and a relatively low-powered CPU... The 701 costs only EUR 250, and if I put in a relatively fast SD card that I could use for additional storage, I could use that as home server. Very quiet, low(er) powered, and how cool is a server with a built-in UPS? Install Ubuntu on it, and I could hook it up to my monitor and use it for low-powered applications such as web and mail! When I need real power, I can always start up the main desktop again...

Also, there's the MACH F. It's a VIA EPIA M10000 motherboard that has to do all the work, and frankly it's not holding up anymore. I have lots of procedures to recode anime in MKV- or MP4-format into XVid AVI's, but lately more and more fansubbing groups are switching to MKV with the cursed H.264 and AAC codecs.
That's a lot of work to do, even if I automated most of the stuff. I still have to move files to and from the virtual machine I run WinXP in, I still have to set up the jobs in VirtualDub, etc. And while the resulting files look quite good on our CRT TV, I know that one day we will want to upgrade to a full-HD LCD TV -- if every pixel on the screen corresponds with an actual pixel on your desktop machine, the image is gorgeous -- so losing quality will hurt in the long run.

A few months back, in the Tweakers.net Best Buy Guide, there was a 'special' for a HTPC. What I want is different from what a HTPC needs to do, but the main considerations are the same. I was very interested to read that the Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H motherboard has a chipset that includes a full-featured graphics card. We can thank AMD's merger with ATI for that. And this card has hardware-acceleration for H.264 and other HD formats...
So I am looking at a way to modernise the MACH F as well -- obviously with the best price/performance ratio, while maintaining the openness I demand from my hardware. This means no Windows MCE for me, but my own playback software, which means that for this to work, there have to be open/free codecs that can utilise the hardware accel, etcetera. I haven't really read up on everything, but a scheme is hatching...
Tags: hardware, mach f
Subscribe

  • Little Laptop woes and the solution

    Last week Sunday I was sitting on the couch using my little laptop when it ‘seized up’ for a few seconds. And after that, I could not…

  • CPU upgrade

    I had an AMD A8 in my desktop, one of the AMD APUs which have a CPU and a nifty graphics card built in the same package. Our media computer is an…

  • Accidental wipe

    Recently, my system has become unstable. I have an AMD A8 APU and run Ubuntu -- it has served me well for years. But after switching to 16.10, a…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 11 comments

  • Little Laptop woes and the solution

    Last week Sunday I was sitting on the couch using my little laptop when it ‘seized up’ for a few seconds. And after that, I could not…

  • CPU upgrade

    I had an AMD A8 in my desktop, one of the AMD APUs which have a CPU and a nifty graphics card built in the same package. Our media computer is an…

  • Accidental wipe

    Recently, my system has become unstable. I have an AMD A8 APU and run Ubuntu -- it has served me well for years. But after switching to 16.10, a…